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Organizations Quotes

  • "It can take just as much effort to run a small company as a much larger one."
    Barbara, Lady Judge (1947–), US-British government adviser
    Source: Management Today (October 1999)
  • "There have been seven directors or acting directors in six years. That's not an organization. That's an institutional collapse."
    Daniel P. Moynihan (19272003), US politician
    Referring to the problems of managing the CIA.
    Source: Independent on Sunday (London) (March 1997)
  • "For a large organization to be effective, it must be simple."
    Jack Welch (1935–), US former CEO and chairman of General Electric
    Source: Quoted in In Search of European Excellence (Robert Heller, 1997)
  • "In companies whose wealth is intellectual capital, networks, rather than hierarchies, are the right organizational design."
    Thomas A. Stewart (1948–), US journalist and author
    Source: Intellectual Capital (1997)
  • "Highly-adaptive, informal networks move diagonally and eliptically, skipping entire functions to get things done."
    Jacques Barzun (1907–), French-born US educator, historian, and writer
    Source: Emotional Intelligence (1996)
  • "Whatever the country, whatever the culture, whatever the time, when you become a big enough organization, you start to collapse and slow down."
    Masayoshi Son (1957–), Taiwanese CEO of Softbank Corporation
    Source: Quoted in Giant Killers (Geoffrey James, 1996)
  • "The introduction of a new grammar, not just new words, is the key to organizational transformation."
    Michael D. McMaster (1943–), US writer
    Source: The Intelligence Advantage (1996)
  • "In the future the optimal form of industrial organization will be neither small companies nor large ones but network structures that share the advantages of both."
    Francis Fukuyama (1952–), US economist and writer
    Source: Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995)
  • "Large, centralized organizations foster alienation like stagnant ponds breed algae."
    Ricardo Semler (1959–), Brazilian business executive and president of Semco
    Source: Maverick! (1993)
  • "It is sobering to reflect on the extent to which the structure of our business has been dictated by the limitations of the file folder."
    Michael Hammer (19482008), US author and academic
    Source: Re-engineering the Corporation (cowritten with James Champy, 1993)
  • "America's business problem is that it is entering the twenty-first century with companies designed during the nineteenth century to work well in the twentieth."
    Michael Hammer (19482008), US author and academic
    Source: Re-engineering the Corporation (cowritten with James Champy, 1993)
  • "We're controlled by ideas and norms that have outlived their usefulness, that are only ghosts but have as much influence on our behavior as if they were alive."
    Robert H. Waterman, Jr (1936–), US consultant and author
    Source: Adhocracy (1993)
  • "Most of our organization tends to be arranged on the assumption that people cannot be trusted … that sort of attitude creates a paraphernalia of systems, checkers, and checkers checking checkers—expensive and deadening."
    Charles Handy (1932–), Irish business executive and author
    Source: “Trust and the Virtual Organization,” Harvard Business Review (May–June 1991)
  • "In the knowledge economy, bureaucracy will increasingly be replaced by adhocracy, a holding unit that co-ordinates the work of numerous temporary workers."
    Richard Crawford, US investment banker
    Source: In the Era of Human Capital (1991)
  • "The core corporation is … increasingly a façade, behind which teems an array of decentralized groups and subgroups continuously contracting with similarly diffuse working units all over the world."
    Robert Reich (1946–), US economist and politician
    Source: The Work of Nations (1991)
  • "Every company has two organizational structures: The formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationships of the men and women in the organization."
    Harold S. Geneen (19101997), US telecommunications entrepreneur and CEO of ITT
    Source: Managing (cowritten with Alvin Moscow, 1984)
  • "In Japan, organizations and people in the organization are synonymous."
    Kenichi Ohmae (1943–), Japanese management consultant and theorist
    Source: “The Myth and Reality of the Japanese Corporation,” Chief Executive (Summer 1981)
  • "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."
    Laurence J. Peter (19191990), Canadian academic and writer
    Source: The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong (cowritten with Raymond Hull, 1969)
  • "twimble: I play it the company way
    Where the company puts me, there I'll stay.
    finch: But what is your point of view?
    twimble: I have no point of view,
    finch: Supposing the company thinks …
    twimble: I think so too!
    Frank Loesser (19101969), US composer, lyricist, and librettist
    Song lyric.
    Source: “The Company Way,” How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (1961)
  • "We talk about organizations in terms not unlike those used by an Ubongi medicine man to discuss diseases."
    Herbert A. Simon (19162001), US political scientist and economist
    Source: Administrative Behavior (1947)
  • "The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they're organized for."
    Laura Ingalls Wilder (18671957), US novelist
    Source: Little Town on the Prairie (1941)

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